AbstractThis thesis puts the prose plays of Norwegian realist playwright Henrik Ibsen (1828- 1906) in relation to the work of contemporary, postmodern artists Mona Hatoum (1952) and Bobby Baker (1950). It proposes that common to all is a focus on home as a multivalent concept which they examine through distinct but also connected critiques of a particular meaning of home, the domestic space. Home has been theorised in several branches of scholarship but also deemed a highly subjective construct. The thesis reconfigures the diverse interpretations of home through an appropriation of the idea of performativity and argues that the various ways in which we encounter it – as house, family, nation, a sense of comfort or estrangement but also, for example, as housework – constitute the performative expressions (or performativities) of home. The thesis then argues that these performativities in the work of Ibsen, Hatoum and Baker incite figurative transportations (or transportive spectatorial experiences) for the audience.
In Ibsen’s drama the critique of home involves performative expressions such as the material culture of the domestic – the furnishings – as well as the characters’ interpersonal behaviours. The thesis examines how Ibsen interplays these elements to expose a false idea(lization) of home prevalent in the nineteenth-century bourgeoisie. By way of a dramaturgical analysis of selected plays, the thesis proposes Ibsen’s work as a lens through which the examinations of home in the work of Mona Hatoum and Bobby Baker can be understood. Situated in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, Hatoum’s and Baker’s critiques respond to distinct political relations of power that shape their experiences of home. Hatoum employs the figure of exile to convey loss and displacement in a manner that exhibits a dramaturgical correlation to Ibsen. Bobby Baker’s focus are housework and food through which she examines the position of women in society also in ways that can be linked to Ibsen’s drama.
|Date of Award
|23 Apr 2020
|Joe Kelleher (Supervisor) & Graham White (Supervisor)
- Henrik Ibsen
- Mona Hatoum
- Bobby Baker